The Life of our Lord
John 12:49-50 (NIV) For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
1 Th 5:10 (NIV) He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
The example of the ultimate gift. He died for us.
The disciples’ prayer
Luke 11:3 (NIV) Give us each day our daily bread.
This is the first of the next three parts of the prayer which set out as a group the needs of the church in its walk before the Lord.
a. Give us.
b. Forgive us.
c. Lead us.
John 3:16 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This has the same concept within its truth …
a. gave His only begotten son (given to us)
b. that whosoever believes in Him (the saving power of forgiveness)
c. shall have everlasting life (be led into the kingdom).
Giving and our daily bread are closely associated in Scripture.
1..Gen 14:20 (NIV) And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Abraham and Melchisedek.
Abraham gave tithes of all. Mechizedek gave bread and wine. (He was a theophany of the Lord Jesus.) This was the first example of the communion table.
2. Mal 3:10 (NIV) Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
Giving to the Lord’s house.
Food in the house = ‘tereph’ torn or broken food. The teaching of the Word and making it known to the people.
Mat 4:4 (NIV) Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Is this a 24 hr day? A year day?
The word used is ‘semeron’ = today,specifically now.
2 Cor 6:2 (NIV) For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Luke 12:16-20 (NIV) And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”‘ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
This is often typical. Putting things off. Jesus taught, ” seek first the kingdom of God.
This word is a reminder to us all that there is a particular portion for each of us. The ‘our’ points to each person having a unique need. We cannot live on the bread meant for some other person. Each must gather for themselves.
Exo 16:16 (NIV) This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Each one is to gather as much as he needs.
In the Greek daily has the meaning of necessary,appointed, sufficient for the day.
Like the story of the treasure in the field we also have a treasure. The bread of life.Though it means giving up all that we have, or passing up the leeks and garlic of Egypt represented by the riches of this worldly life, we know that there is treasure in heaven. This will fail not neither will the thief come and steal.
Luke 12:33 (NIV) Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
The Disciple’s Walk
Much of the walk is implied in the prayer. But there is also an added dimension. We have a part to play in the communion of the church. We are to receive in faith.
Heb 11:6 (NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
The Parable of the Treasure in the Field
Mat 13:44 (NIV) “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Three main thoughts:
i. a field
ii. a treasure in the field.
iii. a man who sold all he had to possess the field.
Some suggest that the man is a sinner who sells all that he has in order to buy the field of the Kingdom of God. The problem with this interpretation is that we cannot buy our way into the kingdom Entry is by grace alone. Notice that the parable is like the pearl of great price story.
When we allow Scripture to assist in the interpretation:
i.Mat 13:38 (NIV) The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom.
1 Pet 2:9 (NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God,
Psa 135:4 (NIV) For the LORD has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession.
Exo 19:5 (NIV) Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.
Acts 20:28 (NIV) … made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
From these verses we can see that the field is the world. Jesus in his humanity finds the treasure (the church) and gives up all that he had (His glory with the Father & his human life on earth) to purchase that treasure hidden there.
The Church at Sardis
(Sardis = the remnant or the escaped few.)
Rev 3:1 (NIV) “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
The city of Sardis also had the characteristic of looking back to former glories and strength; under Croesus it was a rich and powerful metropolis. In later times it kept looking back to former glories and its vitality waned. The Romans found it easy prey.
The letter to Sardis suggests that the church had the same spirit as the city and had failed to learn from their experiences. They are plainly told to wake up!
No revelation or illumination can come to any church group in such a condition.
From AD1520 to AD 1750 the Sardis type showed in the church.Those who knew about the Sardis church thought it to be alive towards God but Jesus sees the heart and He named it as dead. The lack that brought death came from an over emphasis on intellectualism. A failure to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit caused members to look back at past achievements and past glories.
In the church of the period we are studying, the escaped few reveals the Protestant separatists, who left the church of Rome and proclaimed justification by faith and the open Bible. This great move of God began to break the hold of the former system.
As it moved on in history however, the initial enthusiasm waned and the failure to press on under the guidance of the Spirit left the movement overtaken by some of the things they had tried to escape. Holiness, separation to God alone and strict conformity with the word were neglected allowing man’s ideas to grow.
This inertia allowed the Protestant movement to promote
i. union of the church and state. (e.g. Ch.of England.)
ii. a clergy paid by the government
iii. baptism by sprinkling.
iv. church membership not new birth.
They had escape the Nicolatain doctrine but had begun something almost as bad.
The dangers for today are found in the new churches who …
a. conform with the world instead of holiness. (If you can’t beat them join them (bingo, raffles, gay movement).
b. follow intellectualism & liberalism instead of conformity with the Word.
(e.g. a social gospel.)
c. allow liberty of conscience instead of submission to the Word of God.
Out of this Reformation period a faithful remnant, a treasure continued as a peculiar people, holy and faithful. From these submitted saints sprang up the ongoing churches, who continued on in restoration truth.
The Overcomer’s Condition
Rev 3:4 (NIV) Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.
Only a few,the faithful remnant kept the purity of the faith. They had not soiled their robes. This last a reference to righteousness and keeping close to the walk of holiness unto the Lord. Notice how the Lord particularly says “they will walk with me”. This is the only way to walk with Him … be holy!
The Overcomer’s Reward
Rev 3:5 (NIV) He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.
The Feast of Trumpets
This is the call to repentance The beginning of the greatest time in the festive calender. At the sound of trumpets Israel was to gather together to worship the Lord.