Love and Restoration

Text:  1 John 1, 3, 4; Matthew 18; Romans 5 1 John 4:19-21:  “We love, because He first loved us.  If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” (Observation):   We are commanded to love our brother. One cannot love God and hate his brother.   (Interpretation):   I suggest to you that the word brother in the passage means a fellow adoptee into the family of God, by faith in Jesus Christ.  In other words, a fellow Christian. Therefore, the conclusion is that hatred for someone who has the Spirit of God in them precludes the possibility that the hater could love God. Further, it is by God’s love that He sacrificed Jesus to pay for our sins. Therefore, the statement:  We love because God loved us first, as it says in Romans 5:8:  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Consider Matthew 18:15-17:  “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.  “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church,...

Fear Of Loss

Matthew 10:   26“Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27“What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29“Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31“So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. (Observation):   The disciples are told not to fear those who hate them, but to fear God, to whom His disciples are valuable. (Interpretation):  There is no fear of loss if the thing that could be lost is of little or no value to the one who possesses it.  On the other hand, the fear of loss is great when the possession is of great value.  The love of God even extends to the individual hairs on a believer’s head.  Compared to that, why should the disciples fear “those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul?”  The one who loves God fears separation from Him, for the Love of God is eternal and immeasurably more valuable than a temporary earthly body made of flesh and blood.   (Cross-reference):   Philippians 1: 21   For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Psalm 111: 9 He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever;...

Remembering

Psalms 77:11-15 11 I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. 12 I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds. 13 Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples. 15 You have by Your power redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.  NASU (Observation) In verses 11 through 15, the Psalmist turns from lament over his present circumstances in the previous 10 verses, to remembering “Your wonders of old.” As the psalmist remembers, he turns from questioning God to praising Him. (Interpretation) The psalmist purposefully changes his focus away from his own circumstances to God’s past “redemption” of His people.  Similarly, today we purposefully change our focus away from our own present circumstances to the resurrection of Jesus Christ; who “died for our sins” just as the Scriptures promised and was “raised on the third day” just as the Scriptures promised. (Cross-reference) 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:   3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (Application) As I look back to the resurrection of Jesus and what He has done in my life I cannot help but also look forward to the fulfillment of His promise of eternal live in heaven with Him, for everyone who believes, even “a...

Peace, Power and Purpose

John 20:19-22: “So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Observation) Jesus appears, bearing the scars of His crucifixion, in the midst of His disciples as they hide behind closed doors. Jesus says “peace be with you” twice, sends them “as the Father has sent Me” and breathing on them, says “receive the Holy Spirit.” (Interpretation) I suggest to you that His appearance is miraculous and that His words “peace be with you” are more than a greeting intended to calm their surprise at His sudden appearance, but that they also refer to the reconciliation or “peace” with God that is the result of Jesus paying the price for sin on the cross a few days before and that He says it twice for emphasis. Next, I suggest to you that this peace, together with receipt of the promised “Holy Spirit” will abide in them as they “go therefore and make disciples” according to His command. How is it that the Holy Spirit is received by these men before the ascension of Jesus and prior to Pentecost? (Acts 2: 1-4) I do not know.  I will,...
Assurance

Assurance

John 10:  7  So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 “All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (Observation) Jesus is the door to the pasture. The “pasture” is abundant life. The sheep know Him. There is no one else that the sheep know. (Interpretation) I suggest to you that the sheep in the pen are those who are waiting for their “shepherd,” the promised Messiah. Further, I suggest to you that the sheep will know Jesus when he calls because they were predestined by God to be saved “and go out and find pasture,” in other words, eternal life in Heaven with Jesus. Jesus explains further in John 10 below that there are “other sheep” who also are destined to hear His voice, that is the Gentiles, who will join “the fold” when they hear the good news about Jesus and believe it. (Cross-reference) Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the...