It has been our attempt for the last few weeks to direct our thinking to the study of the life of Christ as we approach the time we recognize the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior. Paul said in the Book of Romans, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of the gospel…” First Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the gospel for us, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
We have spoken of the fact that the four Gospels are composed of only 89 chapters for us to see and feel the biography of the Savior. However, Psalm 40:7, “Then said I, Lo I come in the volume of the book it is written of me” relates to us the fact that the entire Scriptures reveal Him to us. Before someone states that this is an Old Testament verse, please look at Hebrews 10:7 where we have a direct quotes from this Psalms. And yes, remember also that the Book of Hebrews is the book that tells us that Christ has fulfilled the Old Testament types and the key word is better. Christ is better than and we are given the major thoughts of the Old Testament. Now in the New Testament we are brought up to date. The Book of Hebrews beginning with Chapter one without a doubt ties together the truths of the Old Testament with the revelation in the New Testament. Yes, the volume of the Book is written of Him.
I am always amazed at a couple of verses near the conclusion of John’s Gospel. Let us look at these two verses, John 20:30, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.” Now let us look at the closing verse of John’s Gospel chapter 21:25, “…I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” John is saying to us that Jesus did many more things worthy of recording but they are not written for us.
However, Matthew writes in chapter 11:29, “…learn of me…” This is our challenge as we study the Scriptures that we are to learn of Christ Jesus our Lord. In our study and consideration of Jesus in these days and times there are at least four things that should move us:
• We need to see what Jesus saw…In Matthew 9:36, “But when he saw the multitudes…” Many times in the gospels and the Book of Acts we have recorded the word “multitude”. As has been stated the work of God is all about people. When we read of Jesus we will immediately see the people around Him.
• We need to feel what Jesus felt…”…moved with compassion…” Too many times we fail to allow the determining factor in our service to be “moved with compassion”. Jude said, “Some have compassion making a difference…”
• We need to pray what Jesus prayed…”Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will end forth labourers into his harvest.” The need is great…the laborers are few.”
• We need to do what Jesus did, “…and Jesus went about all the cities and villages…teaching…preaching the gospel…”
Please pray for Pastor Fisher as he travels to Australia and speaks for:
•Pastor Tom Gonderman at the Southland Baptist Church in Seven Hills, AU on Wednesday, March 12th @ 1:00am PDT.
•Pastor Bill Zaydean at the Faith Baptist Church in Regents Park, AU on Friday, March 14th @ 1:00am PDT.
•Pastor Nathan Lloyd at the Good Shepard Baptist Church in Brisbane, AU:
•Sat., 15th @ 4:00pm PDT
•Sunday, 16th @ 4:00pm PDT
•Monday, 17th @ 4:00pm PDT
•Tuesday, 18th @ 4:00pm PDT
•Wednesday, 19th @ 2:00am PDT
Just a reminder that Sunday, March 9th is Time-change Sunday. Remember to set your clock ahead one hour.
“SIR, WE WOULD SEE JESUS”, JOHN 12:31…PART FOUR…We come now to the fourth week of our emphasis on the life of Christ. Our challenge is to spend some time in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The first three Gospels are called the synoptic Gospels because they include some of the same material surrounding the Lord Jesus. However even within the material given to us from each writer there will be some things related differently by the writers. Sometimes it may be just a word added or deleted by one of these authors. John of course is very different from the other three. As one looks closely at these 89 chapters one will be greatly challenged as the Scripture is unfolded before him. As we draw nearer to the death, burial and resurrection where we give special emphasis let us make sure that we acquaint ourselves with the freshness of our Lord and Savior.
This week in our forth study in the Life of Christ we would go to the mountain top with Jesus and the three disciples that He hand-picked to accompany Him. THE TRANSFIGURATION. Please take note of the various passages that address this blessed happening: Matthew 17, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36 and 2 Peter 1:17-18. Perhaps the reason why the subject of the transfiguration of our Lord has been neglected is the fact that many do not sense the practicality of this event. We do not doubt that it did in fact take place and we like Peter stand in awe upon the “holy mount” but what are the lesson there for us today?
Here in the midst of His earthly ministry He is transfigured or changed before them as Matt. 17:2 tell us. What a special event this must have been. The majesty of his glory shone forth even to the very clothing that He wore. He later tells them not to relate this to others until after His resurrection See Heb. One.
Next, two things happened on the mount, first two men that we are very familiar with in Scripture and they are Moses and Elijah. These are “heavy weights” in the Bible. Next Peter wants to build three tabernacles on the mount. Now watch what happened as a voice from heaven sounded forth saying, ”This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him”. Peter was speaking and the two prophets had appeared but now it was only Jesus that was manifested in His transfiguration.
In the Gospel of Luke chapter 9:30-31 we are told that there was a conversation of the “exodus” or decease of Jesus by Jesus and the two prophets. In the midst of this majestic happening the conversation was centered upon the fact that Jesus was to die and where He would die—Jerusalem. Much can and should be said concerning what happened on the mount but let us see what happened when the disciples came down from this wonderful experience.
Personally, one of the saddest happenings in Scripture occured immediately following the Transfiguration of Jesus in Luke Chapter 9:37-45. There was a lad who needed healing but they could not perform this for the man and his son. Please read this passage and especially verses 40-41. Coming now from this great happening on the mount they were unable to accomplish what God had empowered them to do. Many times we come from places of special blessing and fail to follow through as he has empowered us as well. Please take a few moments to look at these four passages on the Transfiguration of our Lord.
Please pray for Pastor Fisher this week as he travels to Santa Clara, CA and preaches Wednesday morning (3/5/14) at the North Valley Baptist Church for Pastor Jack Trieber at their leadership conference.
Remember the purpose of this series of studies is for us to focus on the Gospel message and the four records found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Remember also there are 89 chapters for us to review. Too often when we read familiar material such as the Gospels we focus on what we “know” about the many great teachings. However, we fail to take time to visit the different incidents and happenings as we read. I am often amazed when I take a few extra moments and place myself in the story and linger there for a while and as we often say, “Smell the roses.”
We have asked you to follow the steps of the Lord Jesus in these week before us and especially take a look at some of the major happenings surrounding the Savior and how these incidents affect us as well. We did mention the birth of Christ and the baptism as also. Today we shall take a look at the Temptation of Christ. The study of the Birth, the Baptism and the Temptation of Christ all come very early in the four Gospels. In the baptism we are to see two emphases of the Scripture (1) the baptism of Jesus was “well pleasing to the Father” (2) It is said that it behooved Jesus to “fulfill all righteousness” (3) and of course He left us an example to follow. NOTE: I would encourage you to go by the Media Table and ask for the message preached by Brother Schmish at our Conference this year on the subject of the temptation of Christ.
• Our Lord entered the conflict under the constraint and leading of the Holy Spirit. It was not the instigation of the Devil that our Lord was led into the wilderness to be tempted, but on His own initiative. Satan was not challenging Christ; Christ was challenging Satan. Amen.
• The time of our Lord’s temptation is also significant. This was not the only time that our Savior was tempted. Look at the wonderful passage in Hebrews chapter four verses14-16. Shall we lift out one phrase from this passage, “But he was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
• The temptation of Jesus was a conflict with a real and powerful enemy. The Devil, a real highly intelligent and mighty personality. To deny the personality of Satan is to deny the Bible. Much Scripture is dedicated to the personality of Satan from Genesis to Revelation. Someone said that the Devil tempts us to bring out the worst in us while God test us to bring out the best.”
• The enemy choses three lines of attack. He has always used this approach beginning with Eve in the Garden. This approach is noted as the “Lust of the flesh”, “the lust of the eyes” and the “pride of life”. This of course is a study in itself. Observe how Jesus handled these three.
• The weapon with which Our Lord silenced and overcame the enemy was the Word of God. Notice in Luke 4:4, 8 and 12—“It is written”. Let us also learn the secret of victory in temptation.
• The purpose of the temptation was not to see if our Lord would or could sin, but to prove that He was the Sinless one. Amen. In the wilderness He repulsed the Devil and emerged victorious, and when the Devil had ended all the temptation…Jesus returned in the power of the spirit into Galilee” Luke 4: 13-14.
• The value of our Lord’s temptation for ourselves. Through Him, our Lord who has conquered Satan, we are “more than conquerors” see Roman 8:37.
Please pray for Pastor Fisher This week as he travels to Tucson, AZ and preaches Monday (2/24/14) at the Coronado Baptist Church for Pastor Vic Crews. Pastor will be preaching @ 6:30pm PST on Monday and 12:30pm & 6:00pm PST on Tuesday.
The Sweetheart Banquet will be held Saturday, February 22nd at 5 pm in the Fellowship Hall. The cost is $25 per couple or $15 for individuals. Please see Brother Harrell or Brother Rader for more information.
This of course was the title for our article on last Sunday and will be our theme or emphasis for the next few weeks since we are approaching the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior. We should go back to the four Gospels containing 89 chapters and review the great work and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the earthly life of our Lord, as in the life of every person, there were several great crises or landmarks. We want you to give thought to these “landmarks” as we visit the Gospel. The first of these landmarks is the birth of Christ Luke 2:1-7. All of us wonder what happened during the “hidden years” between His Birth and when He began His earthly ministry. Please note Luke 2:51-52 and especially verse 52. This verse indicates to us that Christ Jesus developed normally in every way as He grew to maturity to begin His ministry at about the age of 30.
The next landmark in His life of which the Scripture tell us came when at the age of about 30 He was baptized in the River Jordan by john the Baptist. To gain a complete picture of this event we need to read Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23 and John 1:29-34. I will list some of the emphasis of the manner and significance of His baptism. As we have noticed, the baptism of Jesus is mentioned in all four Gospels, and the fact emphasis the important of this step in the Savior’s earthly life. Please read and give thought from the four above mentioned passages in the four Gospels regarding His baptism.
• At His baptism the Lord Jesus was declared by the Highest Authority to be the Second Person of the God Head (Trinity) God’s beloved Son.
• At His baptism, the Lord Jesus demonstrated the truth of that saying of His, “I am meek and lowly in heart…” Matthew 11:29.
• At His baptism, the Lord Jesus signified His willingness and His intention to be the Sin bearer and savior of His people. John 1:29 and Matthew 20:28.
• At His baptism the Lord Jesus portrayed the manner in which His Redemptive Work was to be accomplished. The word simply means to “immerse”. The baptism is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection or the Gospel. See 1st Cor. 15:1-4.
• At His baptism the Lord Jesus, as the Son of Man, was definitely anointed with the Holy Spirit. Now, we see the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit present at the baptism of Jesus.
• At His baptism the Lord Jesus left us an example, that we should follow His steps 1 Peter 2:21. I believe that one of the biggest stumbling stones in the Christian life is the mishandling of the teaching of baptism in one’s life. Bible salvation comes when one repents and trusts Christ as Savior. The next step according to Scripture is to follow the example of Christ in “believer’s baptism” because it manifest ones identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Please, if you have not followed the Lord in believers’ baptism or if you have questions as to your own baptism or the lack thereof get some counsel.
• At His baptism the Lord Jesus taught us the most important and deepest lesson of all and the
lesson is this; the full blessing of God can only come when we are ready and willing to obey. Look up Matthew 3:17.
We have just recently come through the Christmas season when we place the emphasis upon the birth of Christ. This is a time of rejoicing in that He did come into this world to “seek and to save the lost”. However, we now come to the time of the year that we turn our thoughts to the ministry and the major events that seem to bring great focus to us as we “See Jesus”. Many have selected 10 or 12 of these major events of Christ and drawn them out for emphasis. Of course, in a few weeks we shall be coming to some of these happening such as the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior. You may want to start with this copy and note the picture of our great Savior and the many things that encompass His short earthly ministry. Perhaps this is time for us to revisit the four Gospels for a refresher. We will find within the four Gospels just 89 chapters of average length. Notice the breakdown of these 89 chapters: four chapters cover the first 30 years of the life of Christ, 85 chapters cover the last 3 years of His life and 27 of these chapters covers the last 8 days of His earthly life. Perhaps, this breakdown of chapters will cause us to realize that God places much emphasis upon the last week of our Savior. In fact, almost one half of the Gospel of John represents the last week of the Savior.
The greatest question which can force itself upon us is Matthew 22:42, the question faces us even now, “What think ye of Christ?” This question is of supreme importance because what we think of Him will determine what we do with Him. Yes, even more personal is, “What have you done with Christ?” God has given us in His Word a brief chapter that is overlooked and that short chapter is Hebrews chapter one. There are only 14 verses in this great gem that paints a picture of God being manifested to us. Yes, 1 Timothy 3:16 does remind us that the coming of Christ was and is a great mystery.
But in the limited scope of our renewal of the Gospels let us ask: what is the essential and unique characteristic of the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ? It is this—He is at the same time perfectly human and absolutely divine. He holds within himself the two natures in perfect balance and each in full completeness. He is very God and very Man. As we have noted this is a mystery revealed. Amen.
John reveals Christ as the Son of God. In john’s Gospel chapter one and verse one we may conclude that this is the genealogy of Christ according to John. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The pre-existence of Christ, “In the beginning was the Word…”
The co-existence of Christ,”…and the Word was with God…”
The self-existence of Christ,”…and the Word was God.”
“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” John 1:14
In the 89 chapters of the four Gospels we will see again the perfect humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the absolute deity of our Lord. The world has yet been able to bring these two into union and thus have missed the glory of our Savior. “Sirs, we would see Jesus” AGAIN.
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