Distinctively a Disciple, Part 6, June 29, 2014

The eight woes to the religious leaders (Continued).

3. (15) The religious leaders led their converts on the wrong path.

 

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

 

You travel land and sea to win one proselyte: Their zeal in evangelism did not prove that they were right with God. These religious leaders went to great lengths to win others but they brought people to darkness, not light.

 

Paul had the same idea in Romans 10:2 where he observed that some of the Jewish people of his day had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

 

“The word proselyte is an English transliteration of a Greek word proselutos, which means one who has approached or drawn near. The proselyte was the full convert who had accepted the ceremonial law and circumcision and who had become in the fullest sense a Jew.” (Barclay)

 

“A sizable body of scholarship convincingly argues that the first century A.D. till the Fall of Jerusalem marks the most remarkable period of Jewish missionary zeal and corresponding success.” (Carson)

 

When he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves: Through their great energy they could win some, but to no lasting good to those who were won.

 

“Their business was not to turn men from sin unto God, but merely to convert them to an opinion, if they had once got them into their church, so as they could make their markets of them; never regarding their souls more.” (Poole)

 

“Jesus did not criticize the fact of the Pharisees’ extensive missionary effort but its results … they ‘out-Phariseed’ the Pharisees.” (Carson)

 

4. (16-22) The religious leaders made false and deceptive oaths.

 

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.”

 

Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing: Out of obedience to God’s word they refused to swear by the name of God (as commanded in Exodus 20:7). Yet they constructed an elaborate system of oaths, some of which were binding and some were not. It was a way of making a promise while keeping fingers crossed behind one’s back.

 

 “To the Jew an oath was absolutely binding, so long as it was a binding oath. Broadly speaking, a binding oath was an oath which definitely and without equivocation employed the name of God; such an oath must be kept, no matter what the cost. Any other oath might be legitimately broken.” (Barclay)

 

For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Here Jesus emphasized that the altar itself is greater than the sacrifice made upon it. The altar is the established meeting place between God and man, and our altar is Jesus Himself and His work on the cross.

 

Having never been separated from God the Father by sin, Jesus Himself needed no altar. He had a free and glorious relationship with His Father. It was the freedom of Adam before the fall – or even more so, because Jesus had a history of relationship with His Father that Adam did not know.

 

It is worthy to think of the greatness of the Old Testament altar:

 

– The purpose of the altar is significant: it sanctified what was put upon it, and it sustained and bore up the sacrifice until it was consumed.

 

– The location of the altar is significant: it shows that we come to Jesus and His atoning work first.

 

– The shape of the altar is significant: it is square and perfectly proportioned, stable and unshakeable.

 

– The horns of the altar are significant: they show the power of God inherent in Jesus.

 

– The position of the altar is significant: it is not raised, but is low enough for all to approach; it has no steps that would reveal human flesh.

 

– The appearance of the altar is significant: it is smeared with the blood of sacrifice.

 

– The material of the altar is significant: it is brass, forged in the fire and able to endure the judgment of the flames.

 

He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it: Jesus reminded them that every oath is binding and God holds the oath-maker to account, even if they excuse themselves.

 

Speak to Your Dry Bones, Shane Baxter, June 22, 2014

Ezekiel 37:1-14 – God has you speak to the situation in Jesus name
– dry bones represent that which is dead
– don’t allow your circumstances and experience to affect your beliefs; let your beliefs affect your circumstances
– Col. 2:9-10, Prov. 18:21
– Jesus is the resurrection and the life in our life, but we still have areas in our life that are dead and sick
– John 11:43-44 – even Jesus had to speak to the situation
– Luke 8:22-25 – Jesus gives us the same authority
– Joh 14:12-14
– you have broken dreams like dry bones, but they can come back to life, but you need to speak to them in a loud voice
– it doesn’t matter how dry the bones are
– if you want calm in that situation, you need to speak to it
– the dead is back to life and we need the church to help unwrap the grave clothes
– don’t rise up with your friends and talk about the situation, you speak to it.

Honoring Fathers, June 15, 2014

Honor – is an attitude or expression of value on something or someone.

It’s an attitude of appreciation.

Honor expresses itself.

 

It’s important that we verbalize and demonstrate to those we value and appreciate.

 

Ephesians 6:2

Honor your Father and Mother, which is the first commandment with a promise.

So that it will go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

 

Honor – builds up

Dishonor – is to treat something or someone as common.

Pulls everything down.

 

Honor elevates our life!  It elevates everything!

 

Malachi 1:6

A son honors his Father, and slaves honor their Master.  If I am a Father, where is the honor due me?  If I am a Master, where is the respect due me, says the Lord Almighty.

 

Today, I want to talk about the importance of honor in our lives.

 

Malachi 4:6

He will turn the hearts of the Parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents. (sign of revival)  or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.

 

*Hopefully, we are believing God for restoration & revival.

 

Order affects outcome.  God has given us principles to live by this is one of those areas where we can walk out our Christianity.

 

Honor compliments our life!

 

Pro. 27:18

Those who guard a fig tree will eat its fruit, and those who protect their masters will be honored.

 

*The responsibility is on us to show honor to people in our world.

 

Scripture doesn’t say if our fathers are or were perfect, if they didn’t do anything wrong, if they were always loving or honorable.

 

It says to honor.  Protect, Cover, Esteem, Value

 

Leaving a legacy of Honor:

 

Dads, you are the one that your children look to for 5 things:

 

1.   Guidance –  Jer. 6:16  This is what the Lord says, Stand at the crossroads and look;  ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

                                                                                                                                  Children face important life decisions and need the benefits of your experiences & wisdom.   Don’t be afraid to share your weaknesses and faults.

 

Dad’s are the ancient paths of wisdom for their children.

 

Many times we live in shame and regret for things that we’ve done.  The beauty is there are life lessons that our children need to hear.

 

2.   Encouragement – Eph. 4:29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

 

Dad’s you have tremendous influence to make or break a child’s self image. 

By affirming & investing time and energy, you show that you love them.

(no matter how old they are)

 

It puts them in a good position to face the world with confidence.

 

3.   Comfort – 2 Cor. 1:4  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

 

God wants Fathers to love and touch the hearts of their children.

 

4.   Vision – Pro. 29:18  Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint, but blessed are those who heed wisdom’s instruction.

 

Children need positive affirmation and encouragement to convey a positive outlook on their future.

 

They need you to help them figure out what they are good at, express hope for future opportunities.  Sometimes the gift of your presence can do the trick.

 

5.   Protection – 1 Sam. 22:23  Stay with me; don’t be afraid.  The man who wants to take your life is trying to kill me too.  You will be safe with me.

 

The world is full of physical, emotional, moral and spiritual dangers – but Dad’s can protect their children, by being a safe, involved and available presence in their lives.

 

“Success isn’t accumulating possessions, wealth or power.  Success is obeying God.

It means having those closest to you love and respect you the most.”

John Maxwell

 

Dad’s, there is greatness in you!

 

You are loved, needed, wanted, vitally important!

 

Pro. 11:11  Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted.

Distinctively a Disciple, Part 5, June 8, 2014

3. (v.15) The religious leaders led their converts on the wrong path.

 

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

 

You travel land and sea to win one proselyte: Their zeal in evangelism did not prove that they were right with God. These religious leaders went to great lengths to win others but they brought people to darkness, not light.

 

Paul had the same idea in Romans 10:2 where he observed that some of the Jewish people of his day had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

 

“The word proselyte is an English transliteration of a Greek word proselutos, which means one who has approached or drawn near. The proselyte was the full convert who had accepted the ceremonial law and circumcision and who had become in the fullest sense a Jew.” (Barclay)

 

“A sizable body of scholarship convincingly argues that the first century A.D. till the Fall of Jerusalem marks the most remarkable period of Jewish missionary zeal and corresponding success.” (Carson)

 

When he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves: Through their great energy they could win some, but to no lasting good to those who were won.

 

“Their business was not to turn men from sin unto God, but merely to convert them to an opinion, if they had once got them into their church, so as they could make their markets of them; never regarding their souls more.” (Poole)

 

“Jesus did not criticize the fact of the Pharisees’ extensive missionary effort but its results … they ‘out-Phariseed’ the Pharisees.” (Carson)

Distinctively a Disciple, Part 4, June 1, 2014

2. (5-10) They do their works to be seen of others, and live for the praise of men

 

“But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.”

 

All their works they do to be seen by men: The religious leaders were guilty of advertising their righteous deeds. They acted out the religious spirit Jesus spoke against in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:1-6).

 

They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments: Both the phylacteries (small leather boxes with tiny scrolls with scriptures on them, tied to the arm and head with leather straps) and the borders of their garments were worn in the attempt to conform to the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 11:18, Numbers 15:38-40).

 

It was natural for these religious leaders to believe that broader phylacteries and larger borders on their garments showed them to be more spiritual. The idea of wearing the phylacteries and the special borders of their garments was obedience to what God commanded Israel under the covenant given at Mount Sinai. The use of those things to promote an image of super-spirituality was the fault of human sinfulness, not of the command itself.

 

They love the best places … greetings in the marketplaces: Not content to display their supposed spirituality, the religious leaders loved it when people admired their supposed spirituality. They coveted the seats of honor at banquets and at the synagogue, and they loved the honoring titles such as Rabbi and father.

 

 

But you, do not be called “Rabbi”; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren: Jesus warned the people that they should not imitate the scribes and the Pharisees at this point. His followers should always remember that “you are all brethren” and that one should not be exalted above others by titles that are either demanded or received.

 

“An exhortation which today’s church could profitably taken more seriously, not only in relation to formal ecclesiastical titles (‘Most Reverend’, ‘my Lord Bishop’, etc.), but more significantly in its excessive deference to academic qualifications or to authoritative status in the churches.” (France)

 

 Do not be called “Rabbi” … Do not call anyone on earth your father … do not be called teachers: Jesus warned His listeners and us against giving anyone inappropriate honor. One may have a father or teachers in a normal human sense, but should not regard them in a sense that gives them excessive spiritual honor or authority.

 

 

From the rest of Scripture, we can see that Jesus did not intend this as an absolute prohibition, rather as speaking to the heart that loves, collects, and cherishes such titles.

 

We know this because, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, godly men spoke of themselves with some of these titles.

 

Jesus was called Rabbi: Matthew 26:25 and 26:49; John 1:38 and 3:26.

 

 – Paul called himself a father: 1 Corinthians 4:15, Philippians 2:22.

 

 – Paul called other Christians his children: Galatians 4:19.

 

 – Paul called himself a teacher : 1 Timothy 2:7, 2 Timothy 1:11.

 

“That which he forbids is, 1. An affectation of such titles, and hunting after them. 2. Rom tituli, the exercise of an absolute mastership, or a paternal, absolute power.” (Poole)