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09 May 2007 @ 11:28 am
The Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5, 6, and 7.

The dictionary says "blessed" means sanctification, consecrated, divine favor, and bestowed with goodness.
"Blessed" in the context of the sermon on the mount means to be supremely happy.
Happiness is not just about mood, it's about feeling at peace, grounded, content, and complete, weathering the difficult times as well as the good times.
Greek: makarios = "happy isles".

Being blessed involves :
Meditating on God's law.

Psalm 1:1-3
1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

It involves having faith.

Romans 5:1-5
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

It involves trusting in God.

John 14:1-3
1"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going."

Romans 8:37-39
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jeremiah 10:23
23 I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own;
       it is not for man to direct his steps.
 24 Correct me, LORD, but only with justice—
       not in your anger,
       lest you reduce me to nothing.

It involves repentance, turning from sinful ways.

Romans 6:11-14
11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Romans 7:24-25
24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
      So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit" Matthew 5:3
Poor in spirit means humble, one who does not trust in the world or himself, but in God's grace. Because he trusts nothing in the world, and trusts in God, he is blessed.

Psalm 34
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
       he saved him out of all his troubles.

Psalm 35:10
    My whole being will exclaim,
       "Who is like you, O LORD ?
       You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
       the poor and needy from those who rob them."

Psalm 68:3-6
3 But may the righteous be glad
       and rejoice before God;
       may they be happy and joyful.

 4 Sing to God, sing praise to his name,
       extol him who rides on the clouds
       his name is the LORD—
       and rejoice before him.

 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
       is God in his holy dwelling.

 6 God sets the lonely in families, 
       he leads forth the prisoners with singing;
       but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 68:35
35 You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary;
       the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
       Praise be to God!

Psalm  107: 41-43
41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
       and increased their families like flocks.

 42 The upright see and rejoice,
       but all the wicked shut their mouths.

 43 Whoever is wise, let him heed these things
       and consider the great love of the LORD.

Psalms 132:7-9
7 "Let us go to his dwelling place;
       let us worship at his footstool-

 8 arise, O LORD, and come to your resting place,
       you and the ark of your might.

 9 May your priests be clothed with righteousness;
       may your saints sing for joy."

Being faithful to God and turning away from the world is not easy. This all needs to take place from within. It is not about being physically poor, but to not put your faith in your possessions.

Luke 12:22-34
22Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

 27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

 32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell 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. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

1 John 4:4-6
4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

This support comes from other brethren, as well.

1 John 4:7-21
 7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son[b] into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for[c] our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
      God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

 19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.

1 John 5:1-5

1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

08 May 2007 @ 08:43 am
Sermon given on March 25th, 2007:

Jesus, the consolation of Israel.

At his birth:

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

    29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
       you may now dismiss your servant in peace.

    30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,

    31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

    32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
       and the glory of your people Israel."

    33 The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
Luke 2:25-35

Prophesied by Isaiah, 40:9-11

9 You who bring good news to Zion,
       go up on a high mountain.
       You who bring good news to Jerusalem, [a]
       lift up your voice with a shout,
       lift it up, do not be afraid;
       say to the towns of Judah,
       "Here is your God!"

    10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
       and his arm rules for him.
       See, his reward is with him,
       and his recompense accompanies him.

    11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
       He gathers the lambs in his arms
       and carries them close to his heart;
       he gently leads those that have young.

Prophesied by Zechariah, 2:10-11:

 "Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. 11 "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you."

Prophesied by Malachi, 4:2:

"But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves."

The "mountain of the Lord", as described in Micah 4:1-2

"In the last days
       the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established
       as chief among the mountains;
       it will be raised above the hills,
       and peoples will stream to it.

    2 Many nations will come and say,
       "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
       to the house of the God of Jacob.
       He will teach us his ways,
       so that we may walk in his paths."
       The law will go out from Zion,
       the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."

Concerning this mountain: Isiaiah 25:1-9

"LORD, you are my God;
       I will exalt you and praise your name,
       for in perfect faithfulness
       you have done wonderful things,
       things planned long ago.

    2 You have made the city a heap of rubble,
       the fortified town a ruin,
       the foreigners' stronghold a city no more;
       it will never be rebuilt.

    3 Therefore strong peoples will honor you;
       cities of ruthless nations will revere you.

    4 You have been a refuge for the poor,
       a refuge for the needy in their distress,
       a shelter from the storm
       and a shade from the heat.
       For the breath of the ruthless
       is like a storm driving against a wall

    5 and like the heat of the desert.
       You silence the uproar of foreigners;
       as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud,
       so the song of the ruthless is stilled.

    6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare
       a feast of rich food for all peoples,
       a banquet of aged wine—
       the best of meats and the finest of wines.

    7 On this mountain he will destroy
       the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
       the sheet that covers all nations;

    8 he will swallow up death forever.
       The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
       from all faces;
       he will remove his people's disgrace
       from all the earth.
       The LORD has spoken.

    9 In that day they will say,
       "Surely this is our God;
       we trusted in him, and he saved us.
       This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
       let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation."

Peter mentions these prophesies of Jesus being the consolation of Israel, in 1 Peter 1:10-12:

"Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things."

Abraham, Moses, and David also spoke of the consolation of Israel to come:

Hebrews 11:8-10
"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."

Hebrews 11:26-27
"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward."

Psalms 45:1-7 , though written as a wedding song, in it the writer indicates a king whose rule will last forever.

"My heart is stirred by a noble theme
       as I recite my verses for the king;
       my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

    2 You are the most excellent of men
       and your lips have been anointed with grace,
       since God has blessed you forever.

    3 Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one;
       clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.

    4 In your majesty ride forth victoriously
       in the cause of truth, humility and justice;
       let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

    5 Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king's enemies;
       let the nations fall beneath your feet.

    6 Your throne, O God, [c] will last for ever and ever;
       a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

    7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
       therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
       by anointing you with the oil of joy."

A prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus as the messiah: Isaiah 9:6

"For to us a child is born,
       to us a son is given,
       and the government will be on his shoulders.
       And he will be called
       Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
       Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

The fulfillment of said prophecy: Matthew 1:21
"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, [a] because he will save his people from their sins."

Jesus, the way to the Father. John 14:6
"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

An angel proclaimed the arrival of the Messiah. Luke 2:9-11
"An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."

The Magi, and Herod knew of the coming of the Messiah. This caused him to take action, something that involved the whole city.
Matthew 2:1-12:
"...After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
    3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:

    6 " 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
          are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
       for out of you will come a ruler
       who will shepherd my people Israel.' ..." Micah 5:2

Isiaiah 49:6
"he says:
       "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
       to restore the tribes of Jacob
       and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
       I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
       that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth."

Concerning Jesus coming into the world:
Ephesians 2:14-16
"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility."

To those of Israel who do not accept this: Isaiah 8:14-15
" He will be a holy place;
       for both houses of Israel he will be
       a stone that causes people to stumble
       and a rock that makes them fall.
       And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
       a trap and a snare.
    15 Many of them will stumble;
       they will fall and be broken,
       they will be snared and captured."

Romans 11:11-12
"Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!"

07 May 2007 @ 06:31 pm
Some notes on comments made concerning baptism:

Baptism is like a marriage. It is a lifetime commitment and is to be taken seriously if one is going to continue to live in a spirtually saved state.

The Lord Jesus Christ claims the church as his "bride".
2 Corinthians 11:2

The church is one body, made up of many parts.
Romans 12:4,5

Ephesians 5:25-27
"...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word..."

Baptism into the church was to be done without delay.
Acts 22:16

We need to be saved from a world condemned already.
John 3:18

Just as the laws of nature cannot be broken, neither can the law of God be broken. One is apparent, such as the law of gravity, whereas the result of breaking the law of God does not become apparent until later. People may say they need to see physical evidence of God and his law before they will believe, but there were many who saw the work of Jesus, and his miracles, and still did not believe.

1 Corinthians 10:2-3
“ [The Israelites] were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”

Galatians 3:26-27
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

Hebrews 9:14
“…the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death…”

Romans 6:3-4
“Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Therefore all the sins we have ever committed were erased from the board when we are baptized.

Colossians 2:11-12
“…Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

1 Peter 3:21
“…and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God…”

Baptism is not simply a matter of getting dunked into water, but water must be involved in baptism. An example of this during the time of the apostles is in Acts 8:36-39, where Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch.
06 May 2007 @ 05:32 pm
This is where I post my notes on sermons, thoughts, and comments related to my faith in God's word, the teachings of Christ, and my membership with the Lord's church.