Category Archives: Lessons in the New Testament

Fruits of Repentance

I had just begun reading Luke 3 when I was halted by the phrase “fruits worthy repentance” in the King James Version. Although I’ve read this gospel many times, I was arrested by these words making me consider their meaning. I would like to share with you what I discovered in my study.

John was preaching the necessity of repentance, which would lead to the remission of sins. In verse 7, he spoke to the multitude calling them calling them “generation of vipers.” He goes on to say to this group that they must bring forth “fruits worthy of repentance.” He must have seen something in this group that he needed to address when it came to repentance.

Let me take a few minutes to lay out what true repentance entails before I go into what John must have seen in the multitude. The baptism of water was an outward sign of that inward cleansing and renewal of the heart. This would be the effect of true repentance along with the profession of it, It would manifest itself by the reformation of the person. This reformation would lead the heart changed individual to do all the good they could for someone. The individual would make good on anything done wrong on someone. They would be fair in all that they did concerning their work.

John, being full of the Holy Spirit, was able to discern the intent of this multitude. They were not ready to surrender their lives to Christ. They came to look and investigate. They had no intention of repenting. They may have come and stood among those whose hearts were truly ready to serve the Lord. These individuals were truly repentant. Fakers. Sinners. Whatever you want to call them cannot mingle with true seekers of God. They cannot mingle among those who are seeking God with all their heart and mind.

My final words to you my friend is this. If you have truly repented, then bless you. You have begun a wonderful journey with the Lord. He has cleansed you from within and given you a new heart. You are changed daily. You are growing spiritually. Praise God!

If you have not taken that step, please consider now. Make that choice. It is the most important decision you will ever make. You won’t regret it. I promise you. It will not be a bed of roses, but you will no longer be alone. He will always be by your side. You will always receive instructions if you ask Him. Sometimes there will be silence, and is when you walk by faith and not by sight.

We Can Never Frustrate Jesus

 

John 9:1 (KJV)
(1) “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.”

Note:

These notes are taken from Boice Expositional Commentary. This database is a part of WordSearch’s biblical software, which is located on my laptop.

 

The first and great lesson of John 9 is that man cannot frustrate God. It should be understood that man’s hatred and man’s sin could not frustrate God. God accomplishes his purposes sovereignly. He saves by grace those whom He chooses to call to Himself.

The fact that the religious leaders hated Jesus to the point of stoning Him did not frustrate Jesus. Stoning was a serious action. Yet it did not shake Jesus from His mission. If they had attempted to stone Jesus, it would have caused a great turmoil in the temple precincts. Jesus removed Himself probably just a stone’s throw away from this area. He stopped to fix his eyes on the blind beggar who had been sitting near the temple gate.

Jesus was focused on His mission. We find Jesus calm and self-possessed. He is acting with profound disregard of His enemies and their hatred. Jesus had God’s point of view. Jesus persevered in His ministry to a dying world. He began to elect some to salvation. Note Romans 9:15.

This verse tells us about the God we serve. We should know that nothing would frustrate Him. Jesus said He would build His church, and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. If we make God’s purposes our purposes, we will not be frustrated either. If this is carried out, frustration will disappear and life will receive new meaning. If we are working for the Lord, then our work will bear fruit and Jesus Christ will be glorified.

 

The way Jesus handled this situation should serve as an example for us. We are to rejoice in our tests and trials. James 1:2  We are to handle to handle our enemies like Jesus handles His. He did not allow His enemies deter Him from His divine mission. He stayed focused, and we should too. The next time you are faced with an enemy that seeks to destroy you, remember Jesus.

 

Lessons from A Little Lad

1. He shows us how much Jesus can do for so many with so little.

Little becomes much when you place it in the hands of the Lord!

2. He shows us that age is no barrier to Jesus Christ.

He uses a willing child to perform a spectacular miracle. Never feel that you are too old or young to be used of God. http://ref.ly/Mt18.3

3. God uses little things.

A baby moved the heart of Pharaoh’s daughter. God used a shepherd’s rod in the hand of Moses. In David’s hands He used a sling and a stone to defeat the enemies of Israel. He used a little maid to get the attention of General Namaan and direct him to Elijah. http://ref.ly/1Co1.26-29

4. The little lad demonstrates the importance of availability.

He was used of God because he was available to the Lord. When we are available, we show our concern for others with a “servant” spirit. The available person is approachable and endeavors to let others know he is available.

5. The land also teaches us the importance of preparation.

Because he was prepared, he was able to meet a need when it came up. The need came unexpectedly and unannounced, but the boy was prepared. Why? The boy had his lunch most likely because his mother prepared it for him. Little did that mother realize that the menial, everyday task of making a lunch would be used to touch thousands of lives. Beloved, your faithful, godly consistency could be used to win someone to Christ. Your study of the Word of God may help give counsel to someone in need. Be faithful in the every day, menial responsibilities that you have to perform.

6. The little lad also reveals to us that no one knows what can happen when you bring someone to Jesus Christ.

There is a tale of an old German schoolmaster who took off his hat and bowed to his students when he entered the class in the morning. One of the boys asked him why he did this. His reply was, “You never know what one of these boys may become some day.” He was right because one of those boys was Martin Luther.

 

Lessons from A Little Lad

1. He shows us how much Jesus can do for so many with so little.

Little becomes much when you place it in the hands of the Lord!

2. He shows us that age is no barrier to Jesus Christ.

He uses a willing child to perform a spectacular miracle. Never feel that you are too old or young to be used of God. http://ref.ly/Mt18.3

3. God uses little things.

A baby moved the heart of Pharaoh’s daughter. God used a shepherd’s rod in the hand of Moses. In David’s hands He used a sling and a stone to defeat the enemies of Israel. He used a little maid to get the attention of General Namaan and direct him to Elijah. http://ref.ly/1Co1.26-29

4. The little lad demonstrates the importance of availability.

He was used of God because he was available to the Lord. When we are available, we show our concern for others with a “servant” spirit. The available person is approachable and endeavors to let others know he is available.

5. The land also teaches us the importance of preparation.

Because he was prepared, he was able to meet a need when it came up. The need came unexpectedly and unannounced, but the boy was prepared. Why? The boy had his lunch most likely because his mother prepared it for him. Little did that mother realize that the menial, everyday task of making a lunch would be used to touch thousands of lives. Beloved, your faithful, godly consistency could be used to win someone to Christ. Your study of the Word of God may help give counsel to someone in need. Be faithful in the every day, menial responsibilities that you have to perform.

6. The little lad also reveals to us that no one knows what can happen when you bring someone to Jesus Christ.

There is a tale of an old German schoolmaster who took off his hat and bowed to his students when he entered the class in the morning. One of the boys asked him why he did this. His reply was, “You never know what one of these boys may become some day.” He was right because one of those boys was Martin Luther.

 

What About Anger?

We are studying the cleansing of the temple right now. Jesus showed anger. Some people call it “righteous indignation.” Is there such an anger for us? How do we know when our anger is “righteous” and when it is over the line? These are questions that I will be dealing with over the coming weeks. I hope that it will help you grow in your knowledge in this area.

Called to Witness

I would like to deal with the calling of the twelve before dealing with the last passage of John 1. Andrew and John trusted Christ because of what John the Baptist had preached. John had truly prepared the hearts and minds of the people to receive the Messiah. Peter and James came to Jesus Christ because of the compassionate personal witness of their brothers. We will read later that Jesus won Philip personally. Philip would witness to Nathanael, and he would come to Jesus. Each one had a different experience, but the result would be the same. They would follow Jesus, and become the chosen ones. This shows that God brings souls to salvation by various means. He deals with them right where they are. The lesson in this is that we must all become witnesses for Jesus. We must let the world know who Jesus is, and what He wants to do in our individual lives.

Biblical View of Homosexuality

There are many discussions about homosexuality. There are those who say the Bible does not speak directly on this. This has stirred me to research this subject and present it in my blog.  I hope that you and I will come to terms concerning this subject and what the Bible says about it.

 

DEFINITION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

It is defined as relations between two people of the same sex. The Bible condemns such acts as sinful. See Leviticus 20:13.

 

BIBLICAL CONTEXT

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

 

Romans 1:26-27 (NASB)
“(26) For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, (27) and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”

When discussing homosexuality, the biblical emphasis is on behavior, and the verdict is always that it is sinful. Homosexuality is a consequence of rejecting the created order. The prima facie case against homosexuality in the Scripture is found in God’s creative plan for human sexuality. God created mankind as male and female for the purpose of procreation within the context of marriage Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18-24. This is supported in Mark 10:6-9; Matthew 19:4-6. It is spoken of by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:31. It is sinful because it violates God’s original plan for heterosexual monogamy.

 

Against this background of God’s creation scheme for human sexual expression, Paul makes a theological argument which is found in Romans 1:18-32. It is the consequence of rejecting God as Creator and His created order. Paul indicates in his writing that both male homosexuality and female lesbianism result from a denial of God. Paul begins by showing that through rejection of the creation Romans 1:20, and the “Creator” Romans 1:25 women “exchanged natural sexual intercourse for what is unnatural” HCSB. Men did the same thing. Paul goes on to say that God gives them over to the desires of their own sinful hearts. In the course of the context, Paul uses several negative terms to describe this condition. It is described as uncleanness, dishonor, vile passions, error, debased mind, and not fitting. It is listed in a serious list of vices that are deserving of death, not only for those who practice but also for those who approve. Romans 1:32.

 

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. I realize that this is a hot subject, but I must speak the truth when it comes to the Bible. God loves the sinner, but He hates the sin. In these last an evil days, I must speak the truth, and allow it to take its course in the life of the reader. I have presented this topic out of love and not hate.