I turned on my cell phone on Tuesday to make a call and an unsolicited ad appeared. It was about a very special camera. The pictures and videos were in the Amazon, Western Canada, Grand Canyon, etc. I was mesmerized by the quality and depth of each picture. Then I noticed a theme developing layered just below the surface. The theme of marvelous photography was punctuated by a calling to be unlike Christ and to be like the world. Phrases like, "This is the reason we are here," "Life is about reaching for the top," "What can make you happier that this?" "We are here to be happy and prosperous."

While not 100% incorrect, the persuasion was to live for the good things of the world, and the honest opposite of that would be to allow very little time for God stuff! Even time to come to worship each week, as it might call for a cramping of one’s fun time.

I began to wonder "Where, in the Bible does God tell us that our main goal is to be happy?" We might confuse the words regarding being content in Christ found in Philippians with happiness at any cost but our goal is not happiness, things, achievements, forever young or all of these commodities.

A lesson was leaned by me in a twinkling of an eye. When we try to distinguish between being in the world and being in Christ we often think of bad versus good. The world has only bad, bad people and those in Christ are good, good people. Neither of these ideas is necessarily correct!

The lesson for me was "Here is what defines worldliness." It was Jesus whom we follow, who said to his closest followers, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”- Matthew 16:24. He didn’t mince words or allow for misinterpretation. He said it like he meant it!  Jesus also pointed out that anything that takes precedence over following Him, making Him and His work secondary, is rejected. He said, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?”- Luke 6:46.  Jesus heard the excuses of would be followers that included needing more time- “Let me go bury my father..”  or thinking it was just another “do-it-on-your-own-time” job like the self-assured man who said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus knew that this person needed to know what the real price of discipleship was, so he said, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Our thesis today is that we must be Christians like they were in Bible times or the outcome will not be pretty. “But,” says one, “that’s old fashioned, and this is 2017. Get with the program. Things get updated you know.”

That is correct, things do get updated. Take a Model A Ford- 1928 to 1931- and compare it to a 2017 Ford Edge. We would expect the new one to go farther on less gas, cost much more that the Model A, go much faster, have a zillion more features than the old one, etc. But, with body, engine, tires, steering wheel, transmission, they are both cars built for the same purpose. The thing the earlier one was made for the newer one does better, but the goal and general makeup did not.

Modern Christianity, as is most often practiced, is hardly identifiable with the original. Today, in the Christian denominational world, the emphasis is on joining a church, going to a building to worship, find a Reverend man or woman to run the affairs on the local level, while they all are under a national or regional committee and local decisions are made elsewhere.

The above may seem picky and not relevant but it is. The entire process of Christianity in Bible times centered in Jesus from the way to become a Christian to what is done at worship to meeting the same demand, in principle, as the early saints did. It still has to be asked, “What would Jesus have me do? Then “What would Jesus do?”

Following Jesus, as in New Testament Christianity, is hard! Modern Christianity seeks to make it extremely easy.

Our task here on earth is to see things through Jesus' eyes, sight that understands the difference that Jesus makes.

Jesus says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive"- Acts 20:35

         "Love your neighbor, and love your enemy"-Matthew 5:43-48

         "If someone slaps you turn the other cheek to him"-Matthew 5:39

"What does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his soul?"- Mark 8:36

         "Choose the narrow road"- Matthew 7:13,14

"Blessed are you when people insult and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great."- Matthew 5:12

Jesus is called "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" -Isaiah 53:3

Yet while dying between two criminals and in the most horrific and unfair way, He is heard to say, "Father forgive them, they don't know what they are doing."

We must learn how to decipher the truth of Jesus and practice it daily no matter what we previously thought and regardless of the cost. Peter helps us connect the dots: “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”- I Peter 2:22,23

Perhaps the little story, that many of us have heard, with help us realize what Jesus lived, died and lives again to accomplish and cause us to ask one more time, “What would Jesus do?”

In 1896 a religious fiction novel was published called In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? Written by Charles Sheldon, the book has sold more than 30,000,000 copies, and ranks as one of the best-selling books of all time.

In 1896, for his Sunday night services, Sheldon thought he would write a story, which would continue one chapter a week, about various persons who applied "What would Jesus do?" to their lives. Sheldon was soon preaching to a packed crowd.

In His Steps takes place in the railroad town of Raymond, probably located in the eastern U.S.A. (Chicago, IL and the coast of Maine are mentioned as being accessible by train), and Chicago Illinois. The main character is the Rev. Henry Maxwell, pastor of the First Church of Raymond, who challenges his congregation to not do anything for a whole year without first asking: “What Would Jesus Do?”

The novel begins on a Friday morning when a man out of work, named Jack Manning appears at the front door of Henry Maxwell’s house while the latter is preparing for that Sunday’s upcoming sermon. Maxwell listens to the man’s helpless plea briefly before brushing him away and closing the door. The same man appears in church at the end of the Sunday sermon, walks up to “the open space in front of the pulpit,” and faces the people. No one stops him. He quietly but frankly confronts the congregation—“I’m not complaining; just stating facts.”—about their compassion, or apathetic lack thereof, for the jobless like him in Raymond. Upon finishing his address to the congregation, he collapses, and dies a few days later.

That next Sunday, Henry Maxwell, deeply moved by the events of the past week, presents a challenge to his congregation: “Do not do anything without first asking, ‘What would Jesus do?’”

Some lost their jobs or felt compelled to change jobs, others were unfriended, one church member, a boxing promoter, cancelled his fights making others angry and leaving him without an income.

Going back and picking up the theme of the World and Jesus, let us note:

The Word of God says this about the world, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” -I John 2:15-17

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world,...remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:1,2,12

To be content with being aligned with the world is to indicate that we don’t really know what it means to be in Christ. Here are a few passages that proclaim, exclaim and explain the variety of beautiful blessings to be freely had by one in union with Jesus. Please read and heed:

“God….has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ- Ephesians 1:3

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come-                    II Corinthians 5:17

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”- Romans 8:1,4

“That they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory”- II Timothy 2:10

Bible Christians might be identified as having embraced the person, teachings and promises of Jesus. With this in their minds, they live for a better day while “letting their lights shine” in the world so that all may know there is a God, He is alive and He has a Son who is our Savior.

 

 

 

                                                     January 1. 2017

INTRO:  Four weeks ago I announced that we would have three lessons on THE STORY OF JESUS, with the understanding this it would be incomplete. Last week marked the end of the three. When I looked over my shoulder at very passage of Scripture we began with, I knew we could not stop there. Philippians chapter 2 summarize the bigger picture of the Jesus Story, better than any other place, in my estimation. So we continue on.  

EVERYBODY OUGHT TO KNOW WHO JESUS IS and those that do are optimistic about the future. The story of Jesus is found in the first 4 books of the New Testament but it’s impact is summarized well in Philippians 2:1-11. Before Jesus was called Jesus on earth he was in “form of God” in heaven. That is, he was a spirit. The writer continues, “He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped” (or held on to) but emptied himself.” With the price of our sins hanging in the balance he “emptied himself” and became a human being, bondservant. His humiliation took him to His death, and more, death on a cross. This is significant. Each step downward shows his eternal plan. He died for sinners between two sinners. This sent another clear message: He was a sinner!!! “He was counted with the transgressors”- Luke 22:37. Those watching knew two things: 1)Crucifixion was reserved for the worst, those who were threats, especially to the nation. 2)And three very bad people were dying that day.  When Jesus died as a sinner for sinners (although he was sinless) His Father accepted his sacrifice as sufficient for all. Your sins have been paid for!!!

THIS PART OF THE STORY OF JESUS IS FULL OF APPLICATION.  All that Jesus did, he did for those outside of himself and that includes us. He was a giver, provider and servant. Does it not seem reasonable, since Jesus lived his life as an example for us to “follow in his steps” (I Peter 2:21) that we should learn to love more effectively, give more abundantly, and prioritize our decisions more consistently? Jesus teaches us in this passage that the way up is down. Our futile attempts to be or become or to gain, so that we can have more, are not representative of Jesus. Let’s all give this some serious thought.

THE JESUS STORY TAKES AN UPWARD TURN. At this point we encounter a huge change in direction and this also affects us. Enter the word THEREFORE! This points to a change of circumstances and is built on the past. It means “for this reason,” and looms large here. We saw Jesus in heaven with His Father, we know of His humiliation and now THEREFORE, “God has highly exalted him…” Jesus has been reinstated!

So Jesus is again in heaven and the Bible says, many times, “He is seated at God’s right hand.” But what is Jesus doing? Just sitting? No!

First of all, while with the Father in Heaven, Jesus is also residing with in every Christian in the person of the Holy Spirit. How do I know? The Bible tells me so- As Jesus was preparing his followers for his departure, He told them he would be with them through the indwelling Holy Spirit whom He would send to them. Jesus is with us all the way, everyday.

Second, Jesus lives(present tense) to intercede for those who follow Him- Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:34. He makes requests on our behalf and brings our prayers before the Father

Thirdly, we see a beautiful and practical picture in I John 2:1,2. It says “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” Positioning Himself between us and the Father, Jesus Christ now declares our righteous standing because of His sacrifice and our obedient faith.

Christians need an Advocate because of the Adversary, the devil or Satan, who accuses us before God (1 Peter 5:8; Rev 12:10). If Satan is the “prosecuting attorney,” Christ and the Holy Spirit are the legal advocates, the “defense attorneys,” who help, defend, counsel, and comfort us; they plead the Christians case before God day and night, providing a continuing remedy for sin.

CONCLUSION:  This is a court scene. A young man has been accused of and now found guilty of a crime. This crime calls for time in prison. The Judge is honest and true to his position. Hearing the verdict he describes the crime and the appropriate time of punishment. However, the Judge is the father of the young guilty man. The Judge rises, takes off his robe and announces that he will be serving the time that his son was given.

 

 

 

Jesus' Existence Before He Came to Earth
 
TEXT: JOHN 1:1 -4; 14-18
 
INTRO: Many people know something about Jesus. This might result from early S. S. teaching
or perhaps the yearly celebrations observable by most. Jesus Christ are two words used here
often as they should be in our Christian homes. Unfortunately these two words are also used
when parents are feuding or when people are angry with another.
I’m convinced that some of us know a lot and some of us know a little about Jesus, but
nobody knows it all.
 
I wish to use three weeks to talk about the Jesus story, beginning today.
 
I) THE JESUS STORY IS ABOUT A PERSON WITHOUT A BEGINNING AND END!
 
A) Regular Human History Is Summed Up On A Headstone: Born- Died- Dates
 
1) “Man that is born of woman is of few days an full of trouble”-Job
 
2) “Our life if but a vapor that appears for a little while then vanishes away”-James
 
B) Jesus Is Truly From Everlasting To Everlasting
 
1) We mean that His life did not begin in Bethlehem and end in Jerusalem!
 
2) His is not a “womb to tomb” existence. He always was!!!
 
C) But Where And How Did He Exist? What Form Did He Have?
 
1) Philippians 2:5-7
 
2) He had God’s form. God is a spirit(John 4:24)
 
(a) Spirit is one without an outward form or body
 
(b) The word spirit is the same as breath or wind. It is there but without a visible form.
 
3) He shared equality with God cf John 5:18
 
(a) Remember God is God is God
 
(b) The Jesus we know is God period!
 
II) BECOMING MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE FIRST STAGE OF STUDY
 
A) John 1:1 -4; 14-18
 
1) We’ll read verse 1, 14, 18 for clarification
 
2) Jesus represented God, so the “word” is used:
 
(a) Could refer to spoken word with emphasis on meaning conveyed
 
(b) Told of creative power- Psalm 33:6-“by the word the universe was made.”
 
(c) Hebrews thought of Logos God’s divine personality
 
(d) Greek, it was a formula for the rational mind that ruled the universe
 
(e) John is asserting that “the word” is the source of all that is visible and came before the totality of the material world.
 
(f) John was trying to bring out the full significance of the incarnation to Gentiles.
 
3) When the beginning was the Jesus was already there!!! “The Word”
 
4) He was with God (now we know where Jesus was)
 
5) He was God!!! (now we know who Jesus is)
 
6) ILLUST: Pillowed Up
 
7) He Created All things
 
(a) Genesis 1:1 - God is plural
 
(b) Genesis 1:26- God said, “Let us make man in our image…” =plural
 
(c) The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were there.
 
8) He had LIFE and was the Light of men
 
9) He became flesh -1:14 – hence “Immanuel”- God with us- Matt. 1:23
 
10)He possessed visible glory-14
 
11)He was full of grace and truth-14
 
12)John the younger, declared Jesus of “higher rank” and “he existed before me.”-Jn 1:30
 
13)He possessed all the fullness of God cf Col.2:9
 
14)We know about God because Jesus explains Him.- 18
 
B) John 17:1 -5
 
1) Jesus is the center of all things
 
(a) Every other person’s life began at birth; not so with Jesus
 
(b) See time line and eternity
 
2) He is even the center of the universe!
 
(a) Man used to think the earth was the center of the universe- Geocentric
 
(b) Then man began to believe that the sun was the center- Heliocentric
 
(c) We should believe that we live in a Christocentric universe
 

ILLUSTRATIONS USED IN THIS LESSON

 
PILLOWED UP. In ancient times, when a host dignitary entertained and fed others of equal rank he made sure they spoke “eye to eye” with fellow equals. This was accomplished by “pillowing up”shorter people.
 
Jesus saw God the Father, “eye to eye,” without pillows! They were equal!
 

JESUS IS THE CENTRE OF OUR UNIVERSE

 
(a) Man used to think the earth was the center of the universe- Geocentric
(b) Then man began to believe that the sun was the center- Heliocentric
(c) Scientists now believe there may be 12 quadrillion solar systems
(d) (Quadrillion= 1,000,000,000,000,000)
(e) We should believe that we live in a Christocentric universe

JESUS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

INTRO: Our thrust is to see and know "The Story of Jesus." This is the middle chapter. Last week we noted that Jesus had formerly existed in “the form of God” which means he was spirit, and he would later say, “God is spirit…” The second thing that showed up in that chapter in Philippians was that “He had equality with God.” This led us to believe that Jesus is a being without beginning and end. He is eternal. When the beginning was, Jesus was already there, but not known by that given name. When we speak of Jesus Christ we need to know His life did NOT begin in Bethlehem…
 
I) THE NEW TESTAMENT IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, so we go there to gain insight,
A) Jesus said, “do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”-Matt. 5:17(*2)
B) Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life  John 5:39,40.(*3) Cf. vs 46,47
C) Jesus said, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then
beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning
Himself in all the Scriptures. Luke 24:25-27(*4)
D) Jesus said, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be
fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them,
“Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”-Luke 24:44-47 (*5) and (*6)
II) IN THE OLD TESTAMENT JESUS WAS WELL KNOWN
A) As The Seed Of Woman
1) It is normal to speak of the “seed line” from Abraham through his descendants.(*7)
2) But we must start earlier: Genesis 3:15- To the serpent God said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
3) This is very strange language. It is the ONLY time that “seed” or “offspring” is said to be of the female. It is ALWAYS from the male.
4) Who is this? Simply her descendants or is Jesus directly involved?
(a) Galatians 3:13,14-Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A]TREE”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
(b) Galatians 3:8,16-Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.
(c) Galatians 4:4- “When the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of
woman, born under the law.”
(d) Although Abraham lived 2000 years earlier, Jesus was the “Seed” of Genesis 3 and the
promised reward for Abraham!
(e) Now see Galatians 3:26-29
5) The image comes from the highly-trained stone masons who carefully chose the best stone to be used in the corner of the foundation. No stone was as important as this one.
6) Jesus is being called the corner stone. See more application-Matt.21:41-46
7) Now listen to Peter speaking as a result of the crowd’s reaction- Acts 4:1-12
 
CONCLUSION: This is a shorter than usual lesson so that we could read rather extensively each
passage so that we ALL will grasp the context. 330 accurate prophecies can be found in the Old Testament pointing to some aspect of the life of Jesus. We are correct to speak of Jesus as the “center and circumference” of our faith.
There were 40 other people who claimed to be the Messiah/Christ. However, not one could appeal to the Scriptures as did Jesus and His followers. This is summed up in two verses: “Jesus died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and he was buried and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (I Corinthians 15:3,4)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33buor5NfcU&t=983s
 
Hebrews 9:15
Reading: Hebrews 9:11 -15
 
INTRO: This is part two of a must-do way of living. We must live in harmony with the New Covenant. Last week we looked at prophecy and its fulfilment (Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 8). We saw that the first covenant was one of LAW while the second one was of GRACE – See John 1:17. Two different ways of living are required to meet demands of each one.
 
Please be impressed again with God’s prediction and completion: Deut.18 and Acts 3:22
 
  1. I) JESUS IS THE MEDIATOR OF A NEW COVENANT
    1. A Mediator Has Certain Identifying Marks:
      1. Always implied is two or more parties who have some controversy.
      2. There is some obstacle that needs reconciliation.
      3. The parties, of themselves, are incapable fixing the problem.
      4. We think of Colossians 1:21, 22.
      5. He must be friends of both parties in order to affect a change.
    2. Moses Was Suitable In All Areas- Deut. 5-“Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today”
    3. But Last Week We Learned That There Was a Second Covenant-Jeremiah 31
      1. It too would need a mediator
      2. Hear Moses: Deut. 18:15- “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you,from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.”
      3. Jesus is that mediator. Hear Peter in Acts 3:22
    4. This Topic Receives Lots Of Press In The New Testament Letters
      1. Galatians 3:19,20; I Timothy 2:5
      2. Hebrews makes it central- Hebrews 8:6; 9:15 and 12:24
  2. THIS IS PLAIN BUT IMPORTANT FOR US TO KNOW AND FOLLOW- Heb.9:15-17
    1. (Jesus) Is The Mediator Of A New Covenant-15
      1. “For this reason” sends us backwards
        1. Read vs 6-10
        2. Read vs 11 -14
      2. “Since a death has taken place” Now we go way backward in time.
        1. Every sin ever forgiven came as a result of Jesus on the cross!!!
        2. ILLUST: She Gave A Hand
        3. Here(15) and Heb. 11:39,40. Also Rom. 3:23-26
    2. This New Covenant Became Effective At The Death Of Jesus
      1. The one who made the covenant or testament must die first!-v.16,17
      2. Most of Matthew through John is still under the Old Covenant(some don’t know this!)
      3. When we are dealing with God we must go by book, chapter and verse.
      4. ILLUST: When Our Instructions Are From Man
    3. To Follow The New Covenant Means:
      1. Recognizing the burden of keeping law is gone, while grace and faith have come.
      2. We don’t ask “What would Moses do?” but “What would Jesus do?”
      3. There is no demand now for clothes, times, material sacrifices to consume us.
      4. We remember Jesus in both preaching Him and partaking of the emblems of communion.
      5. The burden is to live a high “Jesus” standard every day, not just on one day a week.
      6. We are ALL responsible for telling the good news of Jesus, in word and deed. G.C.


CONCLUSION: ILLUST: The King’s Ransom

 

ILLUSTRATIONS USED IN THIS LESSON

SHE GAVE A HAND

 In another story that came from the Crusades, Norman Lord Grimbald de Pauncefort was captured by the Saracens. When asked the ransom price for his release the Turkish prince demanded the severed right hand of de Pauncefort's young bride, Eleanor. In a tremendous act of courage and sacrifice, Lady Eleanor complied, and had her left hand amputated and sent to ransom her husband. In a sense, that's what Jesus did for you, but He didn't just give His hand--He gave His life.

THE KING’S RANSOM
In 1193, the English King Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, was returning from leading a Crusade to the Holy Land. As he returned through Europe, Leopold V captured him in Austria. The Holy Roman Emperor demanded a ransom for Richard's release. The price was to be 150,000 marks, equal to three tons of silver. This was an enormous ransom demand. But the people of England so loved their king they submitted to extra taxation, and many nobles donated their fortunes for Richard's release. After many months, the money was raised and King Richard returned to England. That's where we get the expression, "a king's ransom."
But to us, the term "a King's ransom" could better be applied to the tremendous price Jesus, the King of Kings paid for our sins on the cross. This King wasn't being ransomed; He paid the ransom so we can be set free. It is the most expensive ransom in the history of mankind.
 
WHEN OUR INSTRUCTIONS ARE FROM MAN
 
The doubleheader train was bucking a heavy snowstorm as its steam engines pulled it west. A woman with a baby wanted to leave the train at one of the little stations along the route. She repeatedly called, “Don’t forget me!” to the brakeman responsible to call out the stations they approached. Her husband was to meet her.
The train slowed to a stop, and a fellow traveler said, “Here’s your station.” She hopped from the train into the storm. The train moved on again.
Forty-five minutes later, the brakeman came in. “Where’s the woman?”
“She got off at the last stop,” the traveler said.
“Then she got off to her death,” the brakeman responded. “We stopped only because there was something the matter with the engine.”
They called for volunteers to go back and search for the woman and child. When they found her hours later, not far from the track where they stopped, she was covered with ice and snow. The little boy was protected on her breast. She had followed the man’s directions, but they were wrong—dead wrong.
Paul declares Christ is the one Mediator between man and God. Peter emphasizes “there is no other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
 
I wish to speak about “He is the mediator of a new covenant…” Mediator- Gal 3:19, 20; 1Ti 2:5; Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24
Covenant=Diatheke - 33x in 30v - Matt 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 1:72; 22:20; Acts 3:25; 7:8; Rom 9:4; 11:27; 1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6, 14; Gal 3:15, 17; 4:24; Eph 2:12; Heb 7:22; 8:6, 8, 9, 10; 9:4, 15, 16, 17, 20; 10:16, 29; 12:24; 13:20; Rev 11:19
 
Additional Info: Diatheke was a commonly used in the Greco-Roman world to define a legal transaction in settling an inheritance and would correspond with our modern term of a "final will and testament" which defines how that which belongs to the owner (the one who makes the will) will be divided among the heirs. Obviously a prerequisite of its effective disposal requires the death of the disposer.
 
In reference to the divine covenants, such as the Abrahamic covenant, diatheke is not a covenant in the sense that God came to an agreement with fallen man as if they were signing a contract. To the contrary, when God entered a diatheke with Abraham it involved His declaration of His unconditional promise to make Abraham and his seed the recipients of the covenant blessings.
 
18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of [h]angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
“there is one mediator between God and man the man Christ Jesus”-I Tim. 2:5
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your [j]countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ 17 The Lord said to me, ‘They have [k]spoken well. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their [l]countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. Deut. 18  acts 3:22ff
The doubleheader train was bucking a heavy snowstorm as its steam engines pulled it west. A woman with a baby wanted to leave the train at one of the little stations along the route. She repeatedly called, “Don’t forget me!” to the brakeman responsible to call out the stations they approached. Her husband was to meet her.
The train slowed to a stop, and a fellow traveler said, “Here’s your station.” She hopped from the train into the storm. The train moved on again.
Forty-five minutes later, the brakeman came in. “Where’s the woman?”
“She got off at the last stop,” the traveler said.
“Then she got off to her death,” the brakeman responded. “We stopped only because there was something the matter with the engine.”
They called for volunteers to go back and search for the woman and child. When they found her hours later, not far from the track where they stopped, she was covered with ice and snow. The little boy was protected on her breast. She had followed the man’s directions, but they were wrong— dead wrong.
Paul declares Christ is the one Mediator between man and God. Peter emphasizes “there is no other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 Hebrews 9:14
Cleaning Out The Files
A certain businessman was notorious for saving almost everything that came across his desk— especially correspondence. Consequently, the files in his office were bulging. One day his secretary asked if she might dispose of all the old, useless material. The man was reluctant, but finally said, “Well, all right, but be sure you make a copy of everything before you throw it away.”
 
That’s the way some Christians handle their sins. They know that Jesus paid the penalty, but somehow they can’t let go of the guilt. It’s as if Christ’s suffering were not enough, and they must contribute some of their own anguish by continually lamenting their failures. They want to keep copies of everything they’ve done. How foolish!
The apostle Paul wanted nothing of this. He accepted as an accomplished fact the removal of all his guilt before God because Christ’s death had marked PAID IN FULL over his account. The memory of earlier days remained vivid, but it didn’t weigh him down.
 Everything that happens to us is retained in that remarkable filing system called “memory.” A wise forgetfulness based on Christ’s atoning sacrifice can keep all guilt feelings from cluttering up our life.
—Dennis J. De Haan
 
The Lord forgives our sins because of Calvary,
And He Himself remembers them no more;
So let us not be burdened with their memory,
But look ahead to all He has in store. —Hess

Guilt is a burden God never intended His children to bear.
 
GrimsbyNewLogo LT
Grimsby Ontario
164 Mountain Rd.
P.O. Box 181
Grimsby, ON L3M 4G3
TEL: 905-945-2233
george4now@gmail.com

Recent Messages

Go to top