My notes are not good this week. I'll just post the recording.
The phrase "in one accord" is mentioned 11 times in the book of Acts.
"They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers." Acts 1:14
The Early Church:
*Anointed and Full of the Holy Spirit
*Preached the Word Boldy
*Miracles, Signs and Wonders
*1000s saved and were being added to their numbers
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17
We've dropped the ball somewhere along the linee because Jesus Christ hasn't Changed. The Father and the Spirit haven't changed. God's gifts are still perfect.
Maybe we've slidden away from having passion for Christ into man made stuff, rules and regulations.
We need to go back before we can go forward.
"How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore." Psalm 133:1-3
Unity is anointed.
They were unified in prayer. Have faith. Have belief -- Pray with faith.
"He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s."
2 Chronicles 20:15
God, do your will. Praying this is part of our worship.
"When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them." Acts 4:24
All prayed. All worshipped.
How often do we pray, "God use us"?
How often do we ask God to let His power come through us? Our prayer needs to be purposeful and directional.
We need to be united in vision and purpose.
Our church needs to be a place where:
-- we worship in Spirit and in truth.
-- We grow and become more like Jesus.
-- We encourage and build each other up.
-- We minister and serve.
Reach out to the lost no matter the cost!
Some people have no hpe. We can give them hope. If we're truly heart-broken about someone, we will reach out. If you see pain and hurting, bring them to Jesus.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-- 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." John 17:20-23
Like heart, like mind, like action.
Do we have this relationship with Jesus? Do we share?
Endless pot of blessing to share.
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven." Matthew 18:19
We don't have time to be tired. Our role is to preach the gospel and make disciples. If I want it done I must do it.
(I messed up the recording this week. There will be another one next week...sorry!!)
What is our role in the world at large?
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." John 13:34
The church is not the building but the people.
People make the church.
So what's our role? Each of us has a role to fulfill in the church. If one part of a body fails, the body can die.
Three holistic roles of the church:
Worship -- expressing our love by worshipping the Creator.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who satisfies your [a]years with good things,so that your youth is renewed like the eagle." Psalm 103:1-5
"Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
3 Know that the Lord [b]Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and [c]not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter His gates with [d]thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 100:1-5
Make noise for Jesus!
Don't be an eyore.
Edification -- building each other up (bible study, continuing education, praying for each other, hospitality, meeting needs, spiritual, physical, emotional).
"Therefore [a]encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11
"and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25
Never been a more opportune time to do God's work! Should be a major mission to edify each other.
Evangelism -- reaching out to a lost world.
People have questions. It is our responsibility to know the truth and to be able to defend it. We need to be able to express compassion and mercy tangibly. We need to truly make a difference. Express compassion and mercy tangibly.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [b]always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Get busy. You have an incredible gift you need to share. We have been commissioned by God to lead. Am I just watching? Or am I doing?
"The basic function of the church is to be involved in every facet of the life of the believer. Christ looked at the needs of the people, provided it and then began to preach the good news. The church today must live up to its own billing" Gilford T. Montrose
"And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the [a]saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;" Ephesians 4:11-12
We are the people. So what should we be doing?
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”" Isaiah 6:8
"Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:9
White noise, so much noise in our world to distract us. Bombarded with tons of messages.
"Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”" Matthew 13:2-9
Parables were a new way of teaching for the disciples.
"The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them." Matthew 13:10-12
Are we getting numb to God and His word?
God spoke because someone was listening.
"This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving." Matthew 13:13-14
Some of them just don't want to hear it. We need to have intentional listening.
Intentionally listen to God.
It's easy to get distracted.
Jesus says there is a purpose.
"But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it." Matthew 13:16-17
Are we shutting God out? Are we callous to God?
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more." Mark 4:24
You listen to me -- you're going to hear something.
The more you listen the more you'll hear.
Why bother to listen?
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David." Isaiah 55:1-3
God says focus on what's important. Focus on God first.
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:18-21
If we don't glorify God and give Him thanks, we can grow hard toward God.
If God is living and active, what are we doing about this? How do we listen?
Listen through the Spirit.
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." John 16:13
"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:20-21
If we want to speak we need to listen.
"However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[a]--
the things God has prepared for those who love him--
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God." 2 Corinthians 2:9-10
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27
The knew the shepherd so well His voice was unmistakable.
Wod of God has to be our foundation.
God's waiting for us, waiting to hear from us, waiting for us to listen.
Have you listened?
Are you listening?
Jesus had a way of dealing with people groups -- radical! Sometimes we're afraid of crossing lines. Jesus never is.
GASP! Jesus went to Samaria.
5 "So He *came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6 and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about [a]the sixth hour." John 4:5-6
He goes through and stops in the middle of the day.
7 There *came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus *said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 She *said to Him, “[a]Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” John 4:7-12
She falls back on tradition.
13"Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
15 The woman *said to Him, “[a]Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” John 4:13-15
Water was a big deal. Her shame was relived every day as she walked to the well.
16 He *said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus *said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” 19 The woman *said to Him, “[a]Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet." John 4:16-19
God knows all our sin. He knows all our dark spots. He knows it all but He still offers His living water.
She brings up a religious argument. Her question goes back to religion.
20 "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is [a]spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:20-24
True worshippers worship in Spirit and Truth.
Being filled with the Spirit.
Think of the disciples like us.
27"At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?” 28 So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and *said to the men, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not [a]the Christ, is it?” 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anythingto eat, did he?” John 4:27-33
Disciples uncomfortable with Jesus's actions but didn't confront him on them.
Woman took this encounter with Jesus and ran with it. Allowed it to change her! She goes to the ones who shun her and told them the Good News!
Jesus has just fulfilled His purpose with this woman. He was full. He gave. She accepted.
34"Jesus *said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. 36 Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.” John 4:34-38
He stayed two days. The Harvest was in process!
39"From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I havedone.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of His word;" John 4:39-41
Live water= running water
Do you have a stock pond or a river in reference to your faith? Is your faith a stock pond (stagnate) or a river (deep and flowing)?
Live water is overflowing, pressurized, bursting out. Spirit will overwhelm us.
37"Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “[a]If anyone is thirsty, [b]let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From [c]his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." John 7:37-39
#1 You gotta be thirsty.
#2 Come to Jesus.
What's keeping us from drinking from the well?
What's separating us from the living water?
What fears keep you from commitment?
Whose rules are limiting your witness?
What is stopping your harvest?
We're missing the harvest. God's harvest will happen, but are you giving away the opportunity to take part in that harvest?
Have you encountered Jesus in this radical way?
Have you asked for the living water?
Have you received the living water?
"Then he showed me a river of the water of life, [a]clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of [b]the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve [c]kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they [d]will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever." Revelation 22:1-5
Take it now!
10"And he *said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near."
The time is near!
12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man [a]according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:12-13
He is coming soon!
He doesn't want us to be fans. He wants us to be followers.
What have you done for the kingdom of God?
Take them to the well!
Let the river flow!
Shannon was the guest preacher for the Dupree Community Service today. Dupree is celebrating Pioneer Days this weekend and there is always a community service for all who want to attend.
I didn't take notes, but I can tell you Shannon talked about love -- how Jesus says in Matthew, 'You are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" in all manners of love. Loving God and loving all people (friends, family, enemies, strangers and especially those who are hard for you to love).
This world is lacking love. So many people are lacking love in their lives.
Loving like God loves isn't easy. Sometimes it is darn hard. But you'll never regret it.
Feel Special. You've been chosen.
2 "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, [a]to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace [b]be yours in the fullest measure." 1 Peter 1:2
Peter was talking to several churches in modern-day Turkey. They're scattered and lonely.
God the Father chose us. God the Spirit changes us. God the Son saved us.
4 "just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before [a]Him. In love"Ephesians 1:4
He chose us!
He chose you -- the Creator of the Universe chosen me. God gave us free will. He's been waiting for you.
19 "Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19
The Lord knows who His people are. If you've accepted Him, You're chosen.
We are saved and set free by His grace.
God could have wiped us all out.
He didn't need us. He wants us.
He celebrated because he was picked.
Remember, God picked you. It doesn't matter what your role is. You're on the team.
Being a Christian makes us a little bit different than others.
A Christian "admits wrong so he can be declared right." A.W. Tozer
14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them [a]from [b]the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." John 17:14-18
This is a prayer for us. Make this personal. Replace "them" in the above passage with "you."
Jesus was not celebrated while He was here. He wouldn't have been getting a lot of "likes" on Facebook.
God the Spirit changes you.
God is working out His plan in you.
It's not us who gets us there. Sanctification is a continual process.
Sanctification ends when we get to heaven.
16 "because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
Sanctification is what God wants in our lives -- His plans, not ours.
When Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, Peter became bold.
Example of commitment. They allowed God to be in control. Are we allowing God to have full control of our lives? We aren't supposed to try and bargain with God. Just follow Him.
It is a pleasure to guide a well-trained horse.
God has nothing but best best intentions for us. He wants us to go with the flow of the Spirit.
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, [a]we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and [b]we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but [c]we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:1-5
God put His hand on me before I knew Him.
He called you.
He has a plan for you.
If you've accepted Him, the Spirit is living in you and changing you.
It's easy to forget the enormity of what we've received.
Choose to surrender.
If you allow the world back in, if you don't give up control, you're choosing not to grow.
He wants your all.
13 "But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you [a]from the beginning for salvation [b]through sanctification [c]by the Spirit and faith in the truth.14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, [d]that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouthor by letter [e]from us.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word."
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
Don't waver in your faith back and forth.
World's version of truth is not truth.
13"for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who [a]bring good news of good things!” Romans 10:13-15
We are all sent.
Truths to know:
#1 God wants to save us all.
#2 The Gospel is Good News.
We are all sent to preach, to tell others about God's love.
#3 God loves us!
He wants us to share in the glory of Jesus. Glory=being one with God. Glory=heaven. Greatness of God + Closeness of God.
He's willing to sacrifice anything to get us. Jesus wants us to be close to Him.
What about the time between now and when we go to heaven?
What are we doing now?
"Truth is a lion. You don't have to defend truth. If you let it lose, it will defend itself." St. Augustine
If we don't cast seed it will NEVER take root.
#1 Jesus wants us in glory with Him.
#2 He wants us to stand firm in our faith.
2 "[a]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [b]author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2
Jesus ran the race first.
He never took His eyes off the destination.
His will, not mine.
What is our purpose here, our meaning?
Stand firm, keep eyes on Jesus, preach truth.
Stand firm and don't back down.
When the wind blows lean into it. Face it. Walk into it. Don't be blown off course.
Don't let the world silence You.
All of this is temporary.
We have the end of the story.
Jesus replied to Satan with scripture.
The world and satan won't stopp trying to snufff out your witness.
We have no idea how effective we are (we would be surprised).
What you need He'll provide.
Do your part.
God will encourage us.
Look back and see what God's already done.
Look forward knowing what the Bible says.
Look around. We are not alone.
God intended us to hold each other up.
We are not the sum total of our worst parts of our life.
There are so many things we have yet to see. They are promises from God yet to be fulfilled. Unrealized dreams! Our story is not yet over!
Can we defend the Bible?
Many people base their opinion on the Bible on hearsay.
14 "You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [b]training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:14-17
#1 Continue in what you have learned. Don't stop. Don't get stagnate in your study.
A lot is first-person witness.
All in Bible is God-inspired.
14" Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this in [a]a book as a memorial and [b]recite it to Joshua, [c]that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Exodus 17:14
9 Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.” Revelation 19:9
God told them to write it down.
New Testament quotes Old Testament (Matthew 15:4, 1 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 13:3)
Biblical Accuracy - - three tests:
Bibliographic tests, Internal tests, External tests.
Bible stood up to all these tests.
Masoretic texts -- 7th century
Supporting texts -- Septuagent -- 3rd century Greek translation of Old Testament.
Targums -- ancient paraphrases of O.T.
Talmud -- Hebrew teachings and comentaries
Quality of Manuscripts:
Reverence -- every line, word and letter counted in copying the O.T.
Dead Sea Scrolls -- predate masoretic texts by 1000 years and they are virtually the same!
5000 Greek Copies of NT
8000 Latin Copies of NT
(These are all handwritten)
Tens of thousands of references to the NT by early church fathers.
Comparison: Plato, Aristotle, Caesar and Tacticus -- only 1 to 20 copies of each.
Quality of NT Manuscripts:
Small variations on translations, interpretations, reconstruction -- none of which are abnormal.
Scholarly review= 99.5% pure copies!
Papyrus copies to 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. Most copies written between 100 and 200 years after Christ.
Better than any other ancient document!
Many of the books are woven together.
Timelines, genealogies, places and dates accurate.
Most books are primary sourced -- eyewitness authors.
Original NT texts written between 47 -- 70 A.D.
Nobody shines in the O.T. but God.
Archeology -- there is something found almost daily even now that proves the Bible!
Josephus and Roman Historian Tacticus and other writers validate Jesus Christ and the facts of His life.
There has NEVER been an archeological find that disproves the Bible.
No Ancient text is more validated by fact than the Bible.
6 Billion Bibles have been sold.
Translated in more languages than any other writing (including Klingon -- yes from Star Trek).
It was written over 1600 years, 40 different authors, on 3 continents, in 3 languages. Consistent message, God's love, God's grace.
Am I choosing willful ignorance?
15 "Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the [a]people any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that because of envy they had handed Him over.
19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for [b]last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.” 20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. 21 But the governor [c]said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate *said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all *said, “[d]Crucify Him!” 23 And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “[e]Crucify Him!” Matthew 27:15-23
Barabbas (insurrection, rebel, murderer, thief). Nothing redeeming about him. He was guilty and condemned.
I'm Barabbas. We're all Barabbas.
18 "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." John 1:18
"for all [a]have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
Without the cross we're all Barabbas. We're rebellious, murderers, thieves.
Jesus was enough. Jesus lived the life we wouldn't and died the death we should have died.
The Law is an impossible standard.
All or none.
Sin or no sin.
We are no different than Barabbas.
18" But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!” 19 (He was one who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection made in the city, and for murder.)" Lukw 23:18-19
Take Jesus. We don't want him. GIve us Barabbas.
Who does the world put up on a pedestal? The worst of the worst. People cheer for the bad guy.
Jesus said, "Take me instead."
Centurion in charge of 100 men. Best of the best. An experienced man.
He was given the task of executions. Seen it happen a lot.
54 "Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was [a]the Son of God!” Matthew 27:54
What changed him?
The sky went black and there was an earthquake. He saw Jesus mocked and whipped. He saw Jesus stay silent. He heard Jesus talk to his mother from the cross -- caring for her while he was being killed. He heard Jesus talk to the thief on the cross and tell him he'd be with Jesus in paradise. He heard Jesus ask God to forgive forgive the ones who crucified Him.
This was not normal -- never happened before during an execution.
Like the centurion we're holding the hammer in our hands.
Neither Barabbas or the Centurion are ever mentioned again. Both were at a decision point.
Now that you know, you have a decision to make. We know we're condemned.
Celebrate the resurrection. Completion of the sacrifice.
To accept or deny.
What is your decision?
Dupree Baptist Church Pastor